Posts Tagged ‘PLO’


In the last of three pieces, starting with an article at LobeLog earlier this week and one at this site yesterday, I look at the need for advocacy for various one-state formulations to be part of the discourse around resolving the Israel-Palestine conflict. I argue that, even for two-staters, there is an absolute need to broaden the discussion, to get to a better idea than the failed Oslo one, but that this won’t be possible unless some leadership, probably Palestinian though it could be Israeli too, is willing to advocate a one-state solution. That’s what is missing now, and what needs to emerge and just might be doing so.  Check it out in Souciant this week.

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Twenty years ago today, YItzhak Rabin and Yasir Arafat shook hands in front of Bill Clinton on the White House lawn. Even those who recognized that the Oslo Accords were not all they were cracked up to be had to be moved by the moment. But when the moment was over, Israeli-Palestinian-American took over and the agreement was a worsening disaster from the start. What happened, why did it happen and what did it mean? I explore in Souciant this week.

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This article originally appeared at LobeLog. Check out the new look of this outstanding site for foreign policy analysis you won’t find anywhere else. 

 

In recent weeks, a few incidents have begun to raise questions about the vaunted power of the so-called “Israel Lobby” and whether its influence might be waning. First there

Bibi might have to do more listening to Obama and future Presidents

Bibi might have to do more listening to Obama and future Presidents

were the AIPAC-backed congressional bills that sought to level sanctions on the Palestinian Authority to punish it for having gone to the United Nations in seeking and winning an upgrade in their status to one that implied statehood and granted it a few more rights in the international system. Those bills both died before reaching the floors of the Senate and House of Representatives. More recently, there was the row over Chuck Hagel’s nomination as Secretary of Defense. That nomination went forward and it has since become evident that, despite some disparaging comments from a few Senators, Hagel is likely to be confirmed.

Those aren’t small failures for “the Lobby”, but the circumstances around them should be examined to put them in context. The two events do indicate the potential beginnings of a shift in the discourse around US policy in the Middle East, but it’s important not to make more out of this than there is. (more…)

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In this week’s piece for Souciant, a rundown of some of the effects of the surprisingly impactful Palestinian victory at the UN General Assembly.

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In this week’s column at Souciant, I take on that tired refrain about the “lack of a Palestinian Mandela” and use it to explore the real problem of poor Palestinian leadership. This was in evidence just recently in a spat between Salam Fayyad and Mahmoud Abbas. That weak leadership has been supported in many ways by the US and Israel, to the detriment of all of us. Incompetents and quislings may be the preferred leaders in Jerusalem and Washington, but that preference rises only out of shortsightedness. We are not going to see a resolution of this conflict if there is no room for strong, independent and sensible Palestinian leadership….

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I recently wrote about the right-wing plans being floated for a one-state solution. In truth, of course, the idea really encompassed two states, with Israel encompassing what is now that state and also including the West Bank, and Gaza being a Palestinian state.

Avigdor Lieberman

Now, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman is advancing the idea from the other direction. Lieberman wants Israel to finish disengaging from Gaza, renouncing all responsibility for the Strip and allowing it its freedom while cutting it off from Israel completely.

Lieberman’s plan has not met with approving ears by the international community, nor by the Palestinians, and the Netanyahu government has thus far ignored it. But it seems very likely that it, in some form, will, at some future point, connect with the notion of annexing the West Bank and become the new right-wing alternative to the traditional two-state solution.

Lieberman’s notion and the annexationist stance should not be taken lightly. True, the ideas have little support outside of far-right circles at this point; but they have the kind of appeal that is likely to spread to the center-right and center of Israeli politics. It has the potential, in the long term, to seduce many who today are in the Kadima or Labor parties.

Lieberman’s plan, not surprisingly, has met with sharp denunciations from both Fatah and Hamas. Still, if the plan were ever realized, Hamas would certainly take the opportunity to further consolidate their rule in Gaza and begin to develop the Strip again. Indeed, such a plan would end up benefiting Hamas more than any other party. (more…)

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